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Considering Pregnancy? It’s Best to Start NOW!

Many think that the journey of pregnancy starts with the conception of the fetus in the uterus and ends with labor. Although that may physiologically be true, many families appreciate a well-planned pregnancy and recognize the importance of proper planning, sometimes months in advance. Family physicians, obstetricians, midwives, or a multidisciplinary team can provide these counseling sessions based on the pregnant person’s preferences and risk factors.

In this article, we’d like to expand that idea by demonstrating the importance of preconception counseling.

The Optimum Pregnancy Experience

Although a pregnancy with no complications may sound too good to be true, families can benefit from preconception counseling to properly inform and prepare themselves regarding probable scenarios, identify risk factors, and minimize their impact.

Your pregnancy experience can be influenced by many risk factors and complications. These may be modifiable conditions (such as BMI, medications, smoking), and non-modifiable variables (such as innate risk of complications in pregnancy like GDM).

Expectant families would benefit immensely from preconception consultations to actively take measures to minimize risk throughout their pregnancy. These measures may include smoking and alcohol use cessation, controlled weight loss and exercise, diet balancing, and supplementation.

Lifestyle/Social Risk Factors

As mentioned above, lifestyle choices are among the most impactful factors in pregnancy and they can easily be modified and managed with help from a professional to minimize their effect.

These factors include but are not limited to

  • Weight and BMI

Proper maternal weight gain is one of the important aspects of growth monitoring in pregnancy follow-up visits. It is beneficial to have the mother’s baseline weight and BMI information for more precise monitoring, as well as consultation on how to manage (increase or decrease BMI through appropriate diet or exercise) for a healthier overall experience.

  • Smoking, Alcohol, Substance Use

Abstinence of all substances, including nicotine, alcohol, marijuana, and all others should be strongly encouraged as they lead to irreversible physical and psychological developmental deficits in the baby.

  • Domestic Violence

Pregnancy is a very stressful and challenging experience for all people involved. Under different circumstances, this may lead to an escalation in conflicts and the potential for violence. These circumstances can be reviewed in preconception visits, and where necessary, proper action (such as family consults or social support) can be taken or planned for with the help of professional healthcare providers.

  • Occupational Hazards

Some occupational environments may pose a greater risk to a pregnant person and their baby. These possibilities can be reviewed and in case of needed, extended pregnancy leave or workplace adjustments can be planned or requested.

  • Social Support

Some families (such as minorities, immigrants, indigenous families, and single mothers/fathers) may benefit from social support during their pregnancy. It is best to review the needs and establish appropriate connections with the right social service providers to facilitate future communications and planning.

  • Nutrition Physical activity

Even though planning for nutrition and physical activity during pregnancy does not include strict requirements, it may be beneficial to review dietary and exercise habits and include any ingredients/elements that may be missing in your diet, before starting your pregnancy journey.


Proper vaccination prevents many infectious diseases from impacting both the mother’s and the baby’s well-being. It is recommended to assess the immunization status of both parents before pregnancy and renew vaccines in case of missed immunization or provide new coverage based on risk factors.

Your healthcare provider may screen you for infectious diseases such as rubella, hepatitis, HPV, and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs), and provide immunization when necessary.

Laboratory Tests, Disease Screening

Laboratory data may include a wide variety of tests, depending on the medical history and risk factors of the family. They may include parental blood group testing and cross-matching to prepare for any maternofetal antibody mismatch, as well as infectious and immunization screenings, blood sugar, and other tests and screening. Furthermore, some genetic tests and screenings may be requested based on the parent’s medical history and familial risk factors.

It may be beneficial to assess your risk factors with your healthcare provider and take the necessary tests. That way you take your first steps into the journey with confidence and appropriate preparedness.


During gestation, the mother’s body increases the need for elements to be able to grow another body from within. These needs are identified by experts and appropriate supplementation is planned to properly address them. These supplements include prenatal vitamins (PNV), iron, folic acid, and so on. Some of these supplements are required a few months before the baby is conceived, such as folate or Iron (in case of anemia).

It is recommended to review your current supplementation regimen and add the necessary elements under the supervision of your healthcare provider to provide the body with all that is needed for a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby.

Emergency Preparedness

There are many occasions when the expectant family may feel the need for urgent care or consultation. It is best to plan for these occasions ahead and readily know whom to contact, where to go, and how to handle these scenarios for the best possible management plans, reduced waiting time, and minimized insult to the pregnancy and the baby.


Despite having a general idea of when the labor is going to happen, you never know exactly when and under what circumstances it may happen. Furthermore, there are several options to consider when deciding your preferred method and conditions of delivery. They range from at-home births to birthing clinics and hospitals.

Even though a preconception visit may be a little too early to make these decisions, it is never too early to start informing yourself about the availability of options specific to your situation and consider your priorities and preferences. Naturally, with the development of the course of pregnancy and with the emergence of new conditions, choices may vary and be updated to reflect the best possible outcome.


In conclusion, we have been able to count several benefits of preconception consultation and highlight the importance of proper planning and staying in control of your routine follow-up visits as well as your urgent consultation needs.

This can also highlight the benefits of using digital services in pregnancy healthcare delivery, as we pride ourselves on our timely virtual consultation service which reduces the unpleasant and distressful ER wait times and provides reliable consultation through trusted third-party expert registered nurses.

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